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In the combox for my last post, I mentioned that my children have begun planning not so much their Halloween costumes as their saint-characters for the All Saints bash at church.

That is to say, the girls have it all worked out. The teenager spent much of yesterday afternoon paging through Rosa Giorgi’s The Saints in Art looking for inspiration, and finally settled — well, “settled” is probably the wrong word, as we still have several weeks in which to change our minds sixty-two times — on Saint Ursula, chiefly because of her red hair. My dark-blue velour dress, my embroidered Iraqi wrap, a crown of blue beads, and hair streaming loose on the shoulders: wa-la, Saint Ursula.

Likewise the kindergartener was transformed into Saint Walburga via my white scarf — if you see a certain pattern to these costumes, well, now you know why I ever go shopping — with a white poncho pulled over it, plus a dark-blue skirt that used to be mine before migrating permanently to the teenager’s closet. I do not complain, mind you; I merely tell the story. Meanwhile, you and I both know that in reality St. Walburga’s headdress is not all white, but the kindergartener has taken the statue pictured left as her model, and it’s just been scraped down and repainted as you see it. We could dress her all in off-white, I suppose, and say that she is that particular image of St. Walburga, but I haven’t bought any off-white clothing for myself lately, if you see what I mean. Anyway, St. Walburga she is — today.

The boys’ criteria for sanctified costuming are as follows: preferably weapon-wielding, but above all, simple. Last year they were St. George and St. Michael, which satisfied the first requirement, but St. George’s mother had a heck of a time making wearable poster-board armor, and both he and she have agreed that maybe something in the toga line would be a good idea this year.

We could of course wear these same costumes for Halloween as well, but somehow it never works that way. The holidays aren’t a two-fer, but a double-header. The teenager has already declared that she wants to be Lucille Ball for Halloween — that handy red hair again — while everyone else remains undecided.

I’ll be writing more about Halloween as the day approaches, but in the meantime, I’ve gone a-googling, to see what might be out there under key-word umbrella of “religious costume.” The answer is: not that much, unless you want naughty, and let’s hope you don’t.

There are these, however; I’m especially enamored of the theologian. The theologian of whom I am enamored in real life honestly wants a hat like that to add to his academic regalia. Maybe I should point him this way, as these seem to be a good deal cheaper than the ones from Cambridge. These ones are available on this side of the Atlantic, and probably on shorter notice than the Cambridge ones are — as he discovered a month before college graduation last spring.

This rabbi costume, from appears between a “saucy vinyl nun” outfit and a werewolf mask, which should tell you something about the company’s ethos. Hey, man, it’s all just scary funny stuff . . .

I’m really just passing over the “sexy Catholic/sexy biblical/sexy religious” entries, which predominate. For about two seconds I was curious about “sexy biblical” — maybe those prophets make some people swoon? — but nah. Not going there. Not even.

On the other hand: Hair of biblical proportions! Whoa!

The most fascinating site I’ve found, on the topic of religious costuming, is The Costumer’s Manifesto. The Costumer describes herself as “a Happy Existentialist,” with no personal investment in any sort of religious dress beyond its interest as costume; you’ll want to skip the “fetish” and “kinky” links. What she’s compiled, however, is a trove of background information related to religious clothing customs of all kinds, so if you’re looking for inspiration, you might find something off the beaten path here.

I’m out of time right now, but if you or anyone you know makes saints’ or other religious costumes for children (or adults), I’d love to add links here.


Sewmelody’s Mother Teresa child costume explained

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